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Hanging in There
with the Toyota RAV4 EV

Stats & Impressions | Charging the RAV4 | Inside the RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 EV was available to fleet owners, such as Southern California Edison power company, soon after the GM EV1 as their entry into the California-mandated clean vehicle program. The cars were limited to fleet owners as they evolved from conductive charger connections to large-paddle inductive chargers, and then finally to the small-paddle chargers as agreed to between Toyota and GM. Between 1997 and 2003, we had several opportunities to see the RAV4 EV in action, but because our commutes involve a lot of driving at freeway speeds, we opted to stay with the more aerodynamically efficient EV1.

In 2003, a limited number of RAV4EV's were made available to private individuals as either a 3-5 year lease (with option to buy) or purchase outright. While we were eager to have an EV available to us after learning of GM's decision to kill the EV1 program, being cautious we opted to lease a RAV4EV in December 2003. Our hope was that by the time the lease was up, we would have more choices available to us. However, by the end of 2007, seeing no other electric car options in the market, we exercised our option to purchase the RAV4EV.